EVEN as his third attempt to propose marriage in as many days threatened to derail, Ballina man Robert Salaun remained determined to pop the question he reckons should have been asked decades ago.

His original plan was to ask his childhood ‘best mate’ Monique Abdessellem to marry him while fishing at Ballina last weekend.

The idea was to place the proposal in a bottle and tie it to Ms Abdessellem’s fishing line – but heavy rain put pay to that grand romantic gesture.

Time for Plan B. Mr Salaun arranged with the Kyogle Cinema to allow him to propose over the public PA system before the start of a movie they were to attend later that night.

Again fate played its fickle hand and the couple arrived too late.

Undeterred, and knowing his potential wife was an avid reader of The Northern Star classifieds, Mr Salaun placed an ad in yesterday’s paper asking: “Monique ... Please be my Froggy Queen forever” – a nod to their shared French ancestry.

“It was the first time I have bought the paper and she didn’t read it,” Mr Salaun said yesterday. “I was going out of my head.”

After arriving for a pre-arranged romantic lunch yesterday, the frustrated want-to-be husband said he had no choice but to tell Ms Abdessellem that friends had just announced their engagement in the classifieds.

“He hadn’t been eating for days and I had no idea why,” Ms Abdessellem said.

“After I saw it (the proposal) I was speechless and almost in shock.”

Mr Salaun said: “There was enough of a pause to raise a sweat.”

The pair, both 35, has known each other for about 18 years, but as Mr Salaun explained ‘life goes on and you go your own way. She was my first love and I never did anything about it’.

Ms Abdessellem said it was shyness that prevented her from also confessing her love for him all those years ago.

Yet, last Christmas, fate did work in their favour when they ran into each other and started dating. And the rest, as they say, is history, or should that be the future.

Oh, she said yes.

How did you or your partner propose?  Tell us in the comments section below.

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